Why Neil Peart’s Silver Surfers are the stars at this year’s Pebble Beach

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One of the world’s most glamorous classic car events, the Pebble Beach concours, returns next month for a 70th anniversary edition. One of its highlights will be a sale by Gooding & Company auctioneers, which will feature almost 100 blue-chip classic cars, including a 1995 McLaren F1 tipped to fetch upwards of $15m.

Neil Peart in his 1964 Aston Martin DB5
Neil Peart in his 1964 Aston Martin DB5 © Courtesy Gooding & Company. Photograph by Mike Maez

Music fans might be more drawn to a seven-car collection created by the late Neil Peart who, bar a five-year break in the late 1990s, served as the drummer and lyricist with Canadian rock band Rush for the best part of 40 years. With some of the wealth accumulated through sales of the group’s 19 studio albums (10 of which went platinum), Peart, who died last year aged 67, set about buying examples of classic cars he had always coveted. He started in 2009 with a 1964 Aston Martin DB5 in the same Silver Birch paintwork as the DB5 made famous by Sean Connery’s James Bond. One of only around 1,000 examples built, the car is offered in pristine condition with a pre-sale estimate of $650,000-$725,000.

1963 Chevrolet Corvette Split-Window Coupe
1963 Chevrolet Corvette Split-Window Coupe © Courtesy Gooding & Company. Photograph by Mike Maez
1964 Aston Martin DB5
1964 Aston Martin DB5 © Courtesy Gooding & Company. Photograph by Mike Maez

1964 Shelby Cobra 289
1964 Shelby Cobra 289 © Courtesy Gooding & Company. Photograph by Mike Maez
1970 Lamborghini Miura P400 S
1970 Lamborghini Miura P400 S © Courtesy Gooding & Company. Photograph by Brian Henniker

The DB5 proved to be the first of a string of similarly-coloured cars bought by Peart, leading him to dub the collection the Silver Surfers, a name inspired by many drives taken along the Pacific shoreline from his Los Angeles home to Malibu and out to Ventura County. The most valuable of the Silver Surfers is a 1970 Lamborghini Miura P400, a rare S model. It could realise as much as $1.5m, while a 1965 Maserati Mistral Spider, one of just 125 made, is tipped to fetch $575,000-$650,000. Peart bought the car in poor condition and had it meticulously restored inside and out, specifying metallic silver paintwork with an oxblood leather trim inside.

1965 Maserati Mistral Spider
1965 Maserati Mistral Spider © Courtesy Gooding & Company. Photograph by Mike Maez

The remaining four cars in the collection are a 1973 Maserati Ghibli, which Peart imported from Europe in 2013 ($250,000-$300,000); a 1963 Chevrolet Corvette known as a split-window model due to its two-part rear screen ($150,000-$180,000); a 1964 Jaguar E-Type Series One featuring subtle upgrades for modern-day driving ($140,000-$160,000) and, finally, a 1964 Shelby Cobra 289 – the only car in the collection that isn’t painted silver. This all-black, 4.7-litre Cobra was one of around 520 MKII variants made and is said to have been the pride of Peart’s collection.

Full details of the Silver Surfers cars and others being sold by Gooding & Company at Pebble Beach Parc du Concours, California on 13 and 14 August can be found at goodingco.com

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